How to Prepare for a Successful Visa Interview at any Embassy

As an African, getting a visa to visit any Western nation is a difficult task. Whether you are applying for the F1 or J1 student visa at the American Embassy or you are planning to visit or work in Western Europe, the task is equally challenging.

To give you an idea, in 2018, Schengen embassies and consulate in Nigeria processed 88,567 visa applications, of which 44,076 were rejected thus marking the highest rejection rate of 49.8% among all third-countries in need of a visa.

In terms of money spent, in 2018, Nigerians spent $5,315,220 in visa application fees to Europe, $2,644,560 of which was money spent by applicants who had their visa request rejected.

To beat the odds, here are some tips to follow during a Visa interview at the embassy

The KEY to passing is making sure you don’t give any reason for the consular to think you will be staying permanently.

1. If you applied for a student visa, you may be asked what you gonna be doing during the holidays. DONT ever say you’d be visiting a friend in a different state or whatever. Let the consular know you will be coming back to your home country to spend it with your family, as you would have missed them.

2. People are mostly denied student visas cos they don’t establish enough ties to their home country. You will get questions like ‘ what are your plans after you graduate? ‘. DONT say you will be trying to get a job abroad. Say something like ‘my parents/guardian are sending me to this school so I can hone my skills better because I will be taking over a leadership position as soon as I graduate in their company‘.

3. ALWAYS have an answer to any question. Say something with CONFIDENCE. Consulars don’t know everything but are looking to see if you are sure. They may ask about a topic in your field of study. Don’t be scared, put a bunch of nonsense together if you are not sure.

4. Your dressing has NOTHING to do with if you get a visa or not. You don’t need a suit and tie, just be presentable. Look straight into the eyes of the consular. Smile and be cautious. Also, have some knowledge of the school and the city you are going to, and why you chose that particular school.

5. Remember, the primary objective is to continually show the consular you are not going there to stay. Even if they ask to know if you’ve got family members here. Just say there is none that you know of. Don’t be bragging about an uncle you have in Chicago.

6. Avoid one-word answers. If asked a question like ‘Have you traveled before?’ try saying something like: ‘I have never really had a genuine need to travel till now. I have held off going for this program for some time, but at this point in my career it’s become crucial if I’m to assume higher responsibilities.’

7. F-1 student Visa is actually not that hard to get. The interview doesn’t take long and you know right there and then if you got it or not. Go with a mindset that you have NOTHING to lose. It helps with your confidence and makes you less nervous.


A writer! Columnist and an academic researcher
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